In pictures: Fast Forward 15's class of 2018 graduate

The mentoring programme for women celebrated a year of success and learning at the graduation ceremony of 2018's mentees.

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Fast Forward 15’s 2018 cohort celebrated their graduation on board the Silver Sturgeon on a cruise of the Thames, sharing their achievements with an audience from the events and business travel industries.

The celebration lunch was headlined by Natalia Cohen who was part of the first all-female team to row unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. She shared her story of the crossing, drawing on how positive mindset, determination, teamwork and humour can counter even the toughest situations.   

Supported by BCD M&E, May 2019 marks the fifth year of the scheme, which has had a demonstrable impact on female future talent in the events and business travel sectors. The programme involves business leaders, which in 2018 included Kerrin MacPhie from Visit Britain, Jane Culcheth-Beard from HP and Ingram Micro’s Tony McMurray.

Fay Sharpe, Founder of Fast Forward 15, added: ‘Each year the competition to get mentored gets fiercer as the programme establishes itself as an amazing way to fast-track personal improvement; equally we are inundated with business heads who want to help these women.

"I’m indebted to the mentors who give up their time for free and who have all helped nurture and instil confidence in such bright new talent.

"My thanks also go to the team on the Silver Sturgeon who not only hosted us so well, but gave us a different perspective on this amazing city.

"Different viewpoints and perspectives echo the premise of Fast Forward 15: a scheme that encourages and champions a bold new future for the events sector.’

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